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The Last Train (1973)
"Le train" (original title)

 -  Drama | War  -  31 October 1973 (France)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 521 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 2 critic

Two people, a Frenchman Julien Maroyeur and a Jewish German woman (Anna Kupfer) met on a train while escaping the German army entering France.


(novel), (adaptation), 3 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Julien Maroyeur
Anna Kupfer
Maurice Biraud ...
Paul Amiot ...
François dit Verdun - un ancien combattant
Nike Arrighi ...
Monique Maroyeur
Paul Le Person ...
Le commissaire
Anna Maroyeur
Roger Ibáñez ...
Inconnu / Stranger
Jean Lescot ...
Franco Mazzieri ...
Maquignon / Horse dealer
Serge Marquand ...
Moustachu / Mustachio
Régine ...
Jacques Alric
Henri Attal
Paul Bonifas


May 1940 - Germany invades Europe, people panic and try to flee by any means possible. In France, Julien, a radio repairman, boards a train with his wife and child. As the men are placed in cattle cars with only the women and elderly allowed in the passenger cars, events begin their fateful turning as the insignificant repairman encounters an attractive fugitive and love begins - a doomed love. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War


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Release Date:

31 October 1973 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Last Train  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(archive footage)| | (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Because Régine, a famous French singer and nightclub proprietor, used to arrive on the set with her own car with chauffeur, the rest of the cast thought at first the production team gave her a special VIP treatment. See more »


Ça fait d'excellents Français
Lyrics by Jean Boyer and Georges Van Parys
Performed by Maurice Chevalier
See more »

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User Reviews

France, an essential view
26 August 2009 | by (France) – See all my reviews

France during 1940 to 1943 as seen by the acute observer Georges Simenon, an author who wrote the Maigret series, admired for his penetrating insights into the traditional lives of the French. It should be remembered by non-French viewers, that the French remember their dead from The Great War (WW1) on crosses and plaques in almost every village in France. (America came to understand this on 9/11, though only three places were hit.) Also that WW1 was fought on French soil. Twenty years later they are invaded again. (Maybe they should be blamed for that because of their vengeful Versaille Treaty.) Remember also that President de Gaulle (centre right) and President Mitterand (socialist) refused to take up the accusations of France caving into Hitlers demands and becoming a puppet regime under the name of Vichy which incorporated into its own laws the Nazi anti-Jewish programs. Against this essential background, there are two of Europe's most subtle actors, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Romy Scheider, who give a haunting performance of pathos and love. They flee by a "last" train northern France in 1940, before Paris falls, to the west coast La Rochell (incidentally, the town to be the German submarine base dramatically filmed in Das Boot). Trintignant with other men and unaccompanied women have to make do in a wagon for horses. This is a significant image. Other important images are the changing countryside, the generosity of the French, the first criminal acts of war of Luftwaffe planes shooting on civilians. Trintignant shows kindness, consideration and courage in protecting Romy Schneider. The rhythm begins to liken Ravel's Bolero: he is traditional parochial French, married with children (who are in the train's better compartments), he is inexperienced with other women, ignorant of world events, so he reflects the very subdued key of the beginning of Bolero; she is a German Jew, internationally experienced, knows men, has the instinct of survival. She adds to the sharper tones in Bolero. Their relationship develops in the wagon. He is more careful to transgress marriage boundaries, she does not want to comprise him, but both slowly are drawn to each other in the steady mounting Bolera rhythm. In the wagon, others engage in sexual intercourse and soon she realizes that she must make the first move. She understands that life is to be lived each minute and so their growing love, reaching new rhythmic heights, is consummated. All is natural, natural as horses in a wagon. No morality, no anglo-saxon prudery, just natural, as one understands this on continental Europe and in the East. The bolera rhythm reaches its climax in the last minutes. Three years he has not seen her. When he was reunited with his wife and new born child in La Rochelle she on her own accord left unseen. He is called to the French National Police. The French police worked in close agreement with the Gestapo (the security police arm of the Nazi Party) and just this aspect so ignored by Presidents de Gaulle and Mitterand is where author Georges Simenon subtedly puts in the knife. At the interview, he is confronted with her, arrested for being a Jew with the French Resistance. He denies the French Secret Service Police inspector's questions, but when she is brought in, the climax and (the Boleros crescendo) is released: the last scene is so powerful, love, the essence of life, is dealt doom. Essential to see, for so many lived that life!

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